These comments on radical politics, Marx, and the monolithic
generalizations on "religion" are entirely unsophisticated, and I
think unwelcome on an academic listserve.

No serious reader of Marx could deny the importance of Christianity's
metaphysical character in his writings, any more than one could deny
his reliance on Shakespeare. Could one "understand" Marx without a
working knowledge of Shakespeare? Perhaps. But, it would be
preposterous to suggest that Shakespeare would not provide a much
richer reading of Marx -- it certainly would. Without the sophomoric
references to "the existence of God" the same could be said of a
richer reading of when considering the broader Judeo-Christian
influences in Marx. Was this not a crucial element of Benjamin's
project? Religion is not irrelevant.

Nevertheless, it is petty to critique a conference programme over a listserve.


On 12/1/09, Thomas Doerfler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Am 01.12.2009 um 21:56 schrieb Maarten Loopmans:
>> I learned from people more acquainted with Marx's writings than I am
>> that Marx was much more nuanced on religion than the
>> decontextualized classical quote of 'religion as opiate of the
>> people' would make us believe...don't know if that's true but even
>> if not, to make such a sentence in a dogma to the extent that no
>> serious research on the impact and meaning of religion in our
>> societies is possible or allowed does not appear as rigorous
>> critical scholarship to me...
> OK, but in fact there seems to be no positive reference to religion
> possible with Marx. See even his sometimes (quite falsely) as »anti-
> semitic« classified notes Jews, who had to emancipate themselves to
> get a subject of/in society etc. - to leave any cultural/religious
> commitment behind, of course. I don't see any chance to revitalise a
> positive perspective on religion with Marx. You have to skip to
> »cultural studies« and say goodbye to social change...
> thomas

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Oliver Christian Belcher
PhD Student
Department of Geography
University of British Columbia

"The hope that earthly horror does not possess the last word is, to be
sure, a non-scientific wish."  Max Horkheimer

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